All posts tagged "entrepreneurs"

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Drop-In Business Counseling

Have questions on starting or expanding your business? A City of San José Office of Economic Development (OED) employee will be on hand to answer your questions related to: registering a business, obtaining business permits, and zoning. This drop-in program will occur every other Tuesday, starting October 7th, 2014. Pre-registration is not required.


Location: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library - Room 455 (4th Floor)

Date: every other Tuesday, beginning October 7th, 2014

Time: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Topics that the OED employees can cover include:

  • Basic real estate questions - Things you should consider BEFORE signing a lease or buying property  
  • Permit questions - What kinds of permits are needed for my business? Who do I coordinate with? How long does the process take? What is it going to cost?
  • Specific business tax requirements of San Jose and more generally about Santa Clara County
  • Basic company financing questions (traditional bank loans, crowd funding, angel/vc funding, loan guarantees)
  • Basic company structures 

Featured Resource: Treehouse

Treehouse is a great resource for those seeking information on how to start a business or how to build their existing business. Treehouse features self-paced, interactive modules on many business topics, including:


  • How to Start a Business
  • How to Write a Business Plan
  • How to Build Your Company
  • How to Build Your Business Through Blogging
  • How to Market Your Business

In addition to business topics, Treehouse also offers modules on how to build websites and apps, how to write code, etc. It is available to all San José Public Library card holders. Click on this link, and then click on “Sign Up for a Free Account” to get started!

Business Plans

If you are thinking about starting a business or have a business idea, the first thing people will tell you is to write a business plan. Some things you might be thinking are: Do I really need to do this?  I know what I am doing. I don't have time to write this thing that I will never use.

It does take time to get your business plan together but it is usually necessary if you want to get financing or looking for partners/ investors.  Plus, the business plan is not only to sell your business idea to others but it really is a roadmap and guide for yourself.  It helps keep you on track with spending, profit goals, and so you don't lose sight of the "big picture".  To get you started on your business plan the library has a few resources:

Cover image How to Write a Business PlanHow to Write a Business Plan by Mike McKeever

Anatomy of a Business Plan by Linda Pinson





And if you can't get to the library, we have resources available online:




Cover image Business Plans for DummiesBusiness Plans for Dummies by Paul Tiffany

Logo Small Business Reference CenterSmall Business Reference Center: Full-text of the Nolo title How to Write a Business Plan and business plan samples.


In addition SCORE has great business plan templates available online.

Featured Local Business Resource: Women's Initiative

Women's Initiative logoWomen's Initiative is a local non-profit that helps "high-potential, low-income women" start businesses with services offered in English and Spanish. Women's Initiative offers business management training that includes business plan development, marketing, and record keeping. They have several locations in the Bay Area including right here in San José at 1407 Parkmoor Avenue.

Featured Local Business Resource: Business Owner Space

Image Business Owner Space logoBusiness Owner Space (BOS) is a one-stop resource for businesses and entrepreneurs.  BOS is composed of a collaborative partnership among more than two dozen public, private, and non-profit agencies and businesses including San José Public Library.


BOS can help you assess whether you are ready to start a business, give you the steps to launch and grow your business, and connect you with local resources that can help support you through the business start-up process.


BOS is located at 1290 Parkmoor Avenue in San José.

Featured Business Resource: Reference USA

Reference USA is an online business directory. Yes, that sounds kind of boring but it's actually a very useful resource. So, what can Reference USA do for you?

  • Say you are interested in opening up a donut shop in San José but want to find out if the market is already saturated. Reference USA can tell you how many donut shops or any type of business, there are in Santa Clara County or specified geographic location 
  • Maybe you are building a sales lead list and need contact names for businesses with sales over $1 million, you can find out owner and executive names for a particular company and limit your search within a certain sales range
  • Search a particular company and find its nearby competitors
  • Find subsidiaries of a company
  • Find out which businesses have 1-4 employees in the 408 area code

These are just a few of the searches that Reference USA can do. Reference USA is not just a simple directory with names and addresses, it's great tool for job seekers, entrepreneurs, and sales and marketing folks. Plus, you can access Reference USA for free, from home or work with a valid SJPL library card.